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M. Ward song Helicopter: Matrix interpretation

Posted in Personal by Will on Friday, March 11th, 2005 ~ 2pm

An article about singer/songerwriter M. Ward reports that he says his lyrics are inspired by older works of fiction and poetry. “Some modern fiction really annoys me,” he said. “It’s too rapped up in the singular image or it’s too post-post-modern. It’s hard for me to get involved in it.”

Which makes me wonder why he was writing about the first Matrix film when he wrote the lyrics for “Helicopter.” Maybe he wrote in the references unconsciously.

The song Helicopter begins as the Matrix begins, with the camera and Ward both tracking along the side of a building, “I am somewhere in the city, I am climbing up a fire escape”…where we are introduced to Trinity “I have got to save my baby from the mess this world has made”…who saves herself by flinging herself through a small window “I arrive through a window, I leave through a hole in the wall” – the latter part perhaps flashing forward to when the whole Matrix gang escapes through a hole in the wall (the “wetwall” of the building’s bathroom).

Just in case these Matrix references are too vague, enter the refrain which depicts Trinity’s helicopter escapade, complete with her escape via rope: “Helicopter, helicopter let your long rope down, let us sway into the sunset, I have done all that I can do in this town.”

Of course Ward’s homage to the Matrix would not be complete without noting that the world of the Matrix is an illusion, and – though I can’t quite make out the lyrics – Ward sings something about “Helicopter has taken the breaking of this dreaming spell”. To borrow a comment from Morpheus, Now do you believe?

Of course I am leaving out a couple lines which don’t seem to relate to the Matrix, but there’s not many of those, it is a pretty sparse song. Altogether, this song always seemed to be asking for a Matrix music video to be edited to it. No, I am not going to do that. But someone should.

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